Readings for Wednesday July 29, 2009
Memorial of Saint Martha
First Reading: Exodus 34:29-35
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 99
Gospel: John 11:19-27
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” (John 11:23-27)
Today we honor and remember Saint Martha, that busy body who certainly came a long way since the last encounter that we know of with Jesus. Before she was so concerned about working and serving (see Luke 10:38-42) that she did not stop to take time to be with Jesus and listen to Him. She certainly learned her lesson from there, but in today's gospel Martha is hit with another lesson.
In the midst of her mourning, Martha who hears that Jesus is coming forgets about everything and rushes to Him. She tells Him that if He had been there her brother would still be living, but even after still submits to God's will. Jesus goes on the tell her that her brother will live, of course Martha's response is to say "oh yes, yes, I understand about the whole resurrection thing, I know he will live after that." This is the point at which Jesus lays another lesson down on her, He says; "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me me will never die." Jesus tells her that that He is everything, life and resurrection, and it is our belief in Him that will give us the everlasting life that we seek.
Jesus finally asks Martha, "Do you believe this?" He is here asking us the same question, do we believe this? If we truly do, do we say this to Him, do we live our lives in a way that says we believe in the life given by our Lord? From there on out, Martha believed in the life that Jesus gave and continues to offer to us, let us take her example and believe in our hearts in the power and the everlasting life that Jesus wants to give to us.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, increase our faith and help our unbelief. Jesus, we know that you came into this world to give us new life, freeing us from the bondage of sin, you offer us love and mercy even though we are not worthy. Lord, you are good all the time, help us to live the good life that you plan for us. We pray for all those who are tied down by the things of this world, help them to be set free by your truth. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.